By Michael Reagan
September 30, 2004
What really bothers them is the image of the president clad in flight gear - an image they feared would remind the voters that we have a jet pilot in command who had just led the nation in toppling a brutal dictator and had done it in record time. They just can't live with that so they resort to the laughable complaint that the mission was not really accomplished since we are still engaged in combat with insurgents in Iraq and we are still fighting the war on radical Islamic terrorism.
But the mission was accomplished, as anybody with two cents worth of common sense understands.
What was the mission? To defeat Saddam Hussein and his armed forces, and that was done so quickly it makes one's head spin. Moreover, the USS Abraham Lincoln's mission was also accomplished. The carrier was sent into the Gulf to help fight the air war against Saddam, something their pilots and flight crews did with great bravery and efficiency. Their mission was accomplished.
The Kerry campaign simply cannot grasp an eliminatory fact - that the administration's mission and that of the carrier were both clearly accomplished. Pacifying Iraq was a new mission entirely, and it is still going on.
Look at it this way: when the Marines on Iwo Jima scaled Mt. Suribachi in World War II and raised the flag, the mission assigned to them, that mission was accomplished. That didn't mean that the battle was over that blood bath would go on for another month - but raising the flag was their immediate mission when they climbed that volcanic hill and they accomplished it. There would be other missions before the battle was over. They would attack and overcome hundreds of enemy positions before the battle was won, and each attack was a different mission and each victory a different accomplishment.
When a football team gets the ball, their mission is to make a touchdown. When they make it, that's a mission accomplished, and they celebrate it, just as the president celebrated the mission of defeating Saddam. The game isn't over, but the mission is. They will then face another mission - to stop the other team from making a touchdown. And if they do that they have accomplished another mission. And the missions won't be over until the game is over.
When George W. Bush stood under that "Mission Accomplished" banner and hailed the accomplishments of the carrier's crew and all the other troops in Iraq, he was correct - their missions were accomplished, and the Democrats know he was correct in celebrating their victory. They just won't admit it because it's the truth, and for them, the truth hurts.
Yet Kerry and company think the American people are too stupid to realize that the president was not saying that the war was over - they understand that he was merely saying that the mission was over which it was.
In their effort to con the voters, the Democrats avoid the truth about the whole USS Abraham Lincoln episode. They don't bother telling the American people that the "Mission Accomplished" theme was not the slick Karl Rove political ploy they claim it was, but was instead urged on the president by General Tommy Franks - a fact he reported in his book, "American Soldier."
He recalls that he went to
the President and asked him to do it because he believed it would
help enlist the aid of those who promised they'd help out in
Iraq if they were assured that the mission had been accomplished.
And it was. Saddam had been toppled.
Mike Reagan, the eldest son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network.
All Rights Reserved.
Distributed exclusively by Cagle, Inc. www.caglecartoons.com to subscribers for publication.